If you’re thinking about moving to Morocco, then you’ll be in good company – there are more than 50,000 expats living across the country right now. We can understand why – Morocco is a genuinely beautiful place to call home.

Before you start packing your suitcase though, it’s important to get an understanding of the healthcare situation in Morocco. Like many countries in the surrounding area, Morocco’s healthcare system does come with its challenges, but that’s not to say you can’t still get world-class healthcare in some parts.

To help you understand what healthcare in Morocco is like, we’ve put together this guide to give you everything you need to know.

Though if you’d like to get started with finding healthcare insurance right away, we can help. We’ve partnered with Cigna Global to give you access to one of the best health insurance providers in the world. Cigna’s customisable plans are designed to suit your healthcare needs, whatever they may be. Start building your own plan and get a free quote today.

Moroccan healthcare: key statistics

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    Average life expectancy
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    % GDP spent on healthcare
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    Have private health insurance

How does Morocco’s healthcare system work?

Morocco’s state is the primary provider of healthcare for its residents, with around 85% of inhabitants getting their supplies and healthcare from public clinics and hospitals. The remaining 15% get their healthcare from private providers.

Moroccan citizens can access public healthcare via the government’s compulsory healthcare insurance, which provides Moroccans with more healthcare coverage than you might expect. They have access to 149 public hospitals, with just over 12,000 physicians operating in the public sector. The care provided includes:

  • Maternity care
  • Diagnostic tests
  • X-rays
  • Hospitalisation
  • Outpatient surgery
  • Dental care
  • Optical care

Foreign residents can access this healthcare as well, but most typically choose either a private health insurance plan, or take advantage of health insurance provided by an employer. You can read more about healthcare for foreigners in Morocco further down the page.

As of 2021, Morocco spends roughly 5-6% of its GDP on healthcare, which is around £1.2 billion per year. This accounts for 40% or so total healthcare spending, with the remaining 60% covering private healthcare. It’s clear then, that despite only 15% of the population using private healthcare, private healthcare funding exceeds the public healthcare funding.

 

Is healthcare free in Morocco?

The compulsory healthcare insurance provided by the government covers between 70-90% of costs, with the rest left to the patient to pay. Whilst this sounds good on paper, it’s important to note that Morocco’s public healthcare is not at the same level you’d expect in MEDCs (more economically developed countries).

Selection of spices on a Moroccan market

Spices for sale in a market in Marrakech 

Quality of healthcare in Morocco

Generally speaking, Morocco’s public healthcare system is lacking in quality. There is a near-constant shortage of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. Equipment is often limited too, which makes complicated procedures far more difficult to get done.

What’s more is that there are substantial differences in the quality of healthcare between rural and urban areas, with the latter being far better equipped. Even in the major cities, we highly recommend getting a second opinion before undergoing any important surgery.

Another key issue is the lengthy waiting times, which affect Moroccans at almost every level of treatment. For example, patients suffering from lung cancer can expect an average waiting time for treatment of 240 days, which is far longer than is recommended. In contrast, despite the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, waiting times for cancer treatment in the UK are far lower after diagnosis.

 

Quality of private healthcare in Morocco

The private healthcare sector in Morocco is undoubtedly better than the public system, but it still lags behind the care you’d expect in the UK and many other European countries. As of 2021, Morocco sits in 83rd place in global healthcare rankings.

You can still find high-quality care in the major urban areas, such as those in Marrakech. The majority of the best-trained medical professionals in Morocco choose to enter the private sphere, mostly because of better pay. This has led to a greater concentration of qualified doctors and nurses in the cities.

So if you’re planning on living in a rural area, it’s essential to remember that you might struggle to get the care you need if you suffer a serious injury or illness.

Square in the famous blue city of Chefchaouen. Intricate patterns adorn a central monument. There are blue flower pots scattered around.

A square in the famous blue city of Chefchaouen

Healthcare in Morocco for foreigners

Foreigners living in Morocco can qualify for the government’s public health insurance, but at the end of the day it still means using the underfunded, low-quality public healthcare system.

With that in mind, most expats choose to use private healthcare. There are over 360 clinics, staffed by roughly 13,500 physicians, meaning the private sector has a much better ratio of doctors to patients than the public system.

The major downside to using private healthcare in Morocco is that you’ll be paying out of pocket for almost everything. For small issues, this isn’t too bad as the costs are still pretty low. Take a visit to your GP for example – you can expect to pay no more than £7-14 per trip. A minor operation isn’t too pricey either, with most paying around £350-400.

What ultimately bumps up the cost is when you suffer from something serious and need an extended stay in hospital. On average, a night in a hospital in one of the major urban centres will cost you roughly £250 per night. And, if the treatment you need can’t be managed in Morocco, you’ll be looking at a medical evacuation fee of around £22,000 (this can get higher depending on where you’re evacuated too).

Because of this, most expats living in Morocco choose to get private health insurance. This way, expats can rest easy knowing they’re covered in case of an unfortunate event.

We’ve partnered with Cigna Global to give expats such as yourself access to world-class healthcare and fully customisable plans. Cigna’s four levels of annual cover and extra modules for greater flexibility mean you’ll get healthcare plans to suit any situation. Start building your Cigna plan today.

Do I need health insurance in Morocco?

Due to the out-of-pocket costs of the private sector and the poor quality of Morocco’s public healthcare system, we highly recommend health insurance. It’s the best way to make sure you and any family you may travel with are covered if the worst happens.

Benefits of private medical cover in Morocco

Having private medical cover in Morocco means you don’t need to worry about excessive costs incurred by hospital stays, or an emergency medical evacuation.

It also means you get access to the highest level of medical care in Morocco, as the best-trained medical staff gravitate towards the private sector. If you need medical treatment fast, you won’t want to be left waiting a long time, which is the unfortunate reality for many in Morocco using the public healthcare system.

And if you do need to be evacuated, having private medical insurance will make sure that you’re covered financially wherever you go for treatment.

How much does health insurance cost in Morocco?

When moving to a new country, one of the biggest concerns many expats have is wondering how much medical insurance will cost. These costs can differ a lot depending on whether or not you’re moving with family too.

For individuals moving to Morocco, health insurance covering inpatient, outpatient, maternal care, and dental care, can expect to pay between £300-450 per month. This estimate is based on worldwide cover for a 45-year-old male living in Morocco, including cover for trips to the US.

Of course, this exact amount depends on the level of coverage required (removing dental coverage reduces the monthly payments, for example), and how much you're willing to pay as deductible.

For families moving to Morocco, a comprehensive healthcare insurance plan will set you back roughly £550-600 per month. Again, this depends on what care you and your family need, as well as the deductibles you’re willing to pay.

Either way, moving to Morocco without health insurance could end up costing many thousands of pounds more. As such, we will always recommend getting private health insurance before making the move.

Advice for expats moving to Morocco

Before you move to Morocco, we advise sorting out your health insurance as soon as possible. You’ll be sorted for your healthcare needs, meaning you can concentrate fully on the rest of the move.

We’ve partnered with Cigna to give you and expats around the world access to high-quality healthcare plans, all at reasonable prices. Why not start building a customisable plan from Cigna and get a free quote today?